United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
TIMOTHY D. DEGIUSTI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Kenneth Ray Coosewoon and Ronald Ray Cooper, appearing
pro se, have filed a 94-page document (exclusive of
the certificate of service, attachment, and exhibits)
entitled, “Plaintiff's Summons and Complaint”
[Doc. No. 1], and an almost identical document with the same
title [Doc. No. 3]. The second document is construed as an
amended pleading and referred to as the Amended Complaint.
Plaintiffs' pleading contains a host of allegations and
recitations regarding Native American rights and laws, and
seeks some sort of relief against the United States of
America and other defendants. The document identifies as
defendants numerous federal officials, such as Secretary of
Interior Ryan Zinke and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as
well as “Members of the Comanche Nation Children's
Court” and other tribal officials, such as Chairman
William Nelson. See Am. Compl. [Doc. No. 3] at 45.
Despite a liberal construction, the Amended Complaint fails
to satisfy the pleading requirements of the Federal Rules of
8(a) provides that a complaint “must contain: (1) a
short and plain statement of the grounds for the court's
jurisdiction . . .; (2) a short and plain statement of the
claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and (3)
a demand for the relief sought . . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P.
8(a). To be sufficient, the statement must “‘give
the defendant fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the
grounds upon which it rests.'” Erickson v.
Padrus, 551 U.S. 89, 93-94 (2007) (quoting Bell
Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007)).
Although a pleading drafted by a pro se litigant is
given more leeway than one prepared by an attorney, it still
must be coherent enough to allow an intelligent response.
See Carpenter v. Williams, 86 F.3d 1015, 1016 (10th
Cir. 1996) (affirming dismissal of
“incomprehensible” complaint). Although allowance
may be made for some deficiencies, such as failure to cite
appropriate legal authority or confusion of legal theories,
“it is not the proper function of the district court to
assume the role of advocate for the pro se litigant, ”
Hall v. Bellmon, 935 F.2d 1106, 1110 (10th Cir.
1991); “the court cannot take on the responsibility of
serving as the litigant's attorney in constructing
arguments and searching the record.” Garrett v.
Selby Connor Maddux & Janer, 425 F.3d 836, 840 (10th
Cir. 2005); see Whitney v. New Mexico, 113 F.3d
1170, 1173-74 (10th Cir.1997) (court will not
“construct a legal theory on a plaintiff's
these principles, dismissal is proper under Rule 8 where a
pro se complaint is unreasonably long, rambling, and
otherwise filled with irrelevant material. See Mann v.
Boatright, 477 F.3d 1140, 1148 (10th Cir. 2007)
(affirming dismissal of 99-page complaint because “[i]n
its sheer length, [plaintiff] has made her complaint
unintelligible by scattering and concealing in a morass of
irrelevancies the few allegations that matter”)
(internal quotation omitted); Ausherman v. Stump,
643 F.2d 715, 716 (10th Cir. 1981) (“prolix”
63-page complaint was a “rambling narration” of
the dispute between the parties, and violated Rule 8(a));
see also Carbajal v. City of Denver, 502 F.
App'x 715, 716 (10th Cir. 2012) (unpublished) (affirming
dismissal of amended complaint as “vague, confusing,
and verbose”); Schupper v. Edie, 193 F.
App'x 744, 746 (10th Cir. 2006) (unpublished) (affirming
dismissal of 38-page complaint with 120 pages of exhibits as
“overly long, prolix, vague, confusing and sometimes
unintelligible”); Mitchell v. City of Colo.
Springs, 194 F. App'x 497, 498 (10th Cir. 2006)
(unpublished) (affirming dismissal of 47-page complaint for
being “verbose, prolix and virtually impossible to
understand” and a “rambling, massive collection
of facts with no apparent organizational scheme, and
completely lacking in clarity and
the Amended Complaint is so rambling, prolix, and
unintelligible “that its true substance, if any, is
well disguised.” In re Williams Sec. Litig.,
339 F.Supp.2d 1242, 1267 (N.D. Okla. 2003) (internal
quotation omitted); Franke v. Midwestern Okla. Dev.
Auth., 428 F.Supp. 719, 721 (W.D. Okla. 1976) (same). As
noted, the Amended Complaint consists of 94 typewritten pages
that cover a host of topics and disjointed matters, many of
which have no apparent bearing on the purported defendants,
and the connection of most defendants to the case is unclear.
Further, Plaintiffs assert claims against defendants who
enjoy sovereign immunity from suit without alleging a clear
basis of jurisdiction over them. Therefore, the Court will
dismiss the Amended Complaint without prejudice, and grant
Plaintiffs leave to file a second amended complaint that
complies with Rule 8(a).
Court questions, however, whether this action is properly
brought by Kenneth Ray Coosewoon. The original Complaint,
civil cover sheet, and the Amended Complaint are all signed
only by Ronald R. Cooper, whose contact information is
provided. See Compl. at 94; Civil Cover Sheet [Doc.
No. 1-2]; Am. Compl. at 94. Mr. Cooper states he is Mr.
Coosewoon's grandson and sole heir, and holds Mr.
Coosewoon's “durable power of attorney.”
See Am. Compl. at 44. However, Mr. Cooper is not a
lawyer, and cannot represent another person in court. Mr.
Coosewoon's signature appears only on a separate
verification sheet signed before a notary public on October
13, 2017, that does not identify the document to which it was
attached. No. contact information for Mr. Coosewoon is
case records of this Court indicate that Mr. Cooper has
previously sought, unsuccessfully, to bring an action on Mr.
Coosewoon's behalf. See Coosewoon v. Laine, No.
CIV-16-1059-R, Order (W.D. Okla. Jan. 30, 2017). In that
case, Mr. Cooper alleged that he was acting on behalf of Mr.
Coosewoon under a durable power of attorney, but alleged that
Mr. Coosewoon was under a guardianship; the guardian was a
defendant in that case. Judge Russell ruled that Mr. Coosewoon,
as a ward, lacked the capacity to convey a power of attorney
and, in any event, could not be represented in court by a
non-lawyer. Id. Unless the guardianship of Mr.
Coosewoon has been terminated, the same ruling would apply in
are reminded that their pro se status does not
excuse compliance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
and the Local Civil Rules of this Court. A pro se
party must “‘follow the same rules of procedure
that govern other litigants.'” Garrett,
425 F.3d at 840 (quoting Nielsen v. Price, 17 F.3d
1276, 1277 (10th Cir. 1994)); see McNeil v. United
States, 508 U.S. 106, 113 (1993) (“we have never
suggested that procedural rules in ordinary civil litigation
should be interpreted so as to excuse mistakes by those who
proceed without counsel”).
THEREFORE ORDERED that the Complaint [Doc. No. 1] is
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. Within 21 days from the date of
this Order, Plaintiffs may file a second amended complaint
that complies with Rule 8(a) and the Court's rulings in
this Order. If no pleading is filed within 21 days, this
action will dismissed without prejudice to a future filing,
without further notice to Plaintiffs.
 Unpublished opinions cited pursuant to
Fed. R. App. P. 32.1(a) and 10th Cir. R. 32.1(A).
 It appears the same defendant (Mary
Victoria Biazzo-Laine, identified as Plaintiffs' niece
and cousin) is also a defendant in this case. Se ...